Power Substation Attacks Continue, This Time in…


Tens of thousands of Americans were without power over the Christmas holiday weekend, many of whom had found themselves in the crosshairs of powerful winter storms and a frigid polar vortex.

But for residents of Washington state, their electrical grid troubles weren’t being conjured by some blizzard or arctic blast.  Instead, they became the victims of the latest in a long string of strange attacks aimed at the power grid.

Three power substations in the Tacoma, Washington, area were vandalized Sunday, knocking out power to around 14,000 customers, police said.

The first substation, located in Spanaway, Washington, and belonging to Tacoma Public Utilities, was attacked around 5:30 a.m. local time, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Nothing was stolen, but equipment was vandalized, leading to outages in the area, police said.

A second nearby TPU substation was also vandalized, police said.

A substation belonging to Puget Sound Energy was also vandalized sometime in the early morning, police said. Power went around 2:30 a.m. local time. Police were notified around 11:30 a.m., and when they arrived on the scene, they found “the fenced area was broken into and the equipment vandalized,” similar to the other two substations.

Police were at a bit of a loss.

No suspects are in custody and it was not immediately clear if all three substations were vandalized by the same person or people or if the attacks are related.

Just weeks ago, similar attacks cut power to nearly 40,000 residents of Marion County, North Carolina.  As in the Tacoma case, police on the east coast are still stumped as to the motives and identities of the perpetrators.